by Bobby Dhaliwal

The Evolution of Harley Davidson in Modern Street Culture

Beginnings    In 1947, Harley-Davidson began selling new styles o...
The Evolution of Harley Davidson in Modern Street Culture


In 1947, Harley-Davidson began selling new styles of leather jackets that became a standard into the present day. The jackets were waist-length with a belt and included zippered pockets and snap-fastened collars. Starting in 1954, the premiere H-D jacket brand was the Cycle Champ for men and the Cycle Queen for women. As with Harley-Davidson motorcycles, both style and function changed in small increments from year to year, building on the foundation of what we see on streets today. 

Through the era of H-D lightweight motorcycles, scooters and snowmobiles, the apparel evolved for functionality. It also changed with the fashion of the times, including the groovy 1970s. A crowning achievement came in 1992 when Harley-Davidson won the Council of Fashion Designers Award for bringing the motorcyclist look to the ready-to-wear market (what you find in vintage apparel today). 

The Evolution of the Motorcycle T-Shirt 


Arguably the most sought after Harley Davidson item in the vintage market has been the motorcycle t-shirt from the 70s and 80s era. These shirts feature various design concepts including abstract approaches with the addition of colourful lightning/fire, racing event t-shirts (similar to music tour merchandise), and your classic Harley Davidson logo t-shirt which has remained a staple piece in every collector’s closet. 

In modern day street culture, the Harley Davidson vintage t-shirt has become an absolute staple. This is due to the versatility of the shirt, as a compliment to its diversity in fashion we continue to witness today with developing styles and trends repeating from the past. Whether you choose to style one of these t-shirts with an oversized/baggy appearance, or with a more subtle (yet effective) outfit, these shirts make for the perfect statement piece.

The Hype Supporting Harley Davidson 


At Icy Vintage, we continue to take great pride in our hand-picked collections of vintage Harley Davidson apparel, which is consistently in high demand due to the growing interest of vintage wear and sustainability. The brand has been worn by the likes of Kanye West, Travis Scott, & many others, which sparked the curiosity of those who follow street fashion. 

Harley Davidson exemplifies the quality you look for when shopping vintage as they age no different than some “fine wine” held in storage. What is meant by that exactly? The more washes over time, the better! As you see many global icons rocking their Harley Davidson vintage t-shirts on Instagram, they often have a very washed and worn out appearance which is a result of age and washes, however the shirt materials remain durable through this cycle. 

The most sought after Harley Davidson shirt is the 1970's-1980's 3D Emblem tag tops. These shirts are desirable due to their age, rarity, and controversial graphics, making them a collectors item amongst enthusiasts. 



Our team at Icy Vintage continues to stay ahead of the curve through our inspection and authentication of each and every Harley Davidson piece. Each item is personally handpicked to ensure our customers are receiving the best quality of garments. It is important to note there are many examples on the internet and social media of reprints which are sold, but can't be considered vintage apparel. We strive with our mandate to ensure our customers are in the authentic wave of 80’s and 90’s vintage apparel!